Cluster-randomized controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of computer-assisted intervention delivered by educators for children with speech sound disorders

S McLeod, E Baker, J McCormack, Yvonne Wren, S Roulstone, K Crowe, Sarah Masso, Paul White, Charlotte Howland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

19 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Purpose: The aim was to evaluate the effectiveness of computer-assisted input-based intervention for children with speech sound disorders (SSD).  Method: The Sound Start Study was a cluster randomized controlled trial. Seventy-nine early childhood centers were invited to participate, 45 were recruited, and 1,205 4- to 5-year-old children’s parents/educators returned questionnaires. Children whose parents/educators had concerns about speech were assessed (n=275); 132 children who were identified with phonological impairment of unknown origin underwent additional assessment. Children with SSD and no receptive language or hearing difficulties, typical non-verbal intelligence, and English as their primary language were eligible; 123 were randomized (Intervention n=65; Control n=58); 3 withdrew. Intervention involved Phoneme Factory Sound Sorter software administered by educators over 9 weeks; Control involved typical classroom practices. Participants were re-assessed twice by a speech-language pathologist (SLP) blinded to the initial assessment and intervention conditions.  Results: For the primary outcome variable (percentage of consonants correct), the significant mean change from pre- to post-intervention for the Intervention group (mean change+6.15, p<.001) was comparable in magnitude to the significant change for the Control group (mean change+5.43, p<.001) with a small between groups effect size for change (Cohen’s d=0.08). Similar results occurred for measures of emergent literacy, phonological processing,participation, and wellbeing.  Conclusion: Computer-assisted input-based intervention administered by educators did not result in greater improvement than typical classroom practices.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Early online date3 Jul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • Intervention
  • Speech sound disorders
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Sound Start Study
  • Speech processing
  • Children's speech

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